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Al Shalloway

Net Objectives

With more than forty years of experience, the founder and CEO of Net Objectives Al Shalloway is an industry thought leader in lean, SAFe, kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum, and agile design. Al helps companies transition enterprise-wide to lean and agile methods, and teaches courses in these areas—one of a handful of SAFe SPC trainers. He is the primary author of Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, Design Patterns Explained, Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams, and Essential Skills for the Agile Developer. Cofounder (although no longer affiliated) with Lean Kanban University, Al is a popular speaker at prestigious conferences worldwide.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, June 2, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Scaling Agile with the Lessons of Lean Product Development Flow

Although first generation agile methods have a solid track record at the team level, many agile transformations get stuck trying to expand throughout the organization. With a set of principles that can help improve software development quality and productivity, lean thinking provides a method for escaping the trap of local optimization. While agile teams can use lean principles to improve their practices, larger organizations can embrace lean to solve problems that commonly plague company-wide agile endeavors. Al Shalloway explores the lean principles of mapping value streams, creating visibility, managing work levels, and more. Together, these lean principles and practices can help your organization dramatically reduce the amount of waste in the work that teams perform. He introduces kanban, an agile method that is a strong implementation of lean principles. Al closes with agile adoption case studies that illustrate how lean thinking can extend Scrum practices.

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
An Introduction to SAFe: The Scaled Agile Framework

Many organizations have achieved agility at the team level only to be unable to achieve it across teams. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) provides both a vision and method for how to achieve this. SAFe is the first documented framework that can be used to scale agile throughout an organization. It is a combination of lean, kanban, and Scrum—lean to provide a context for an organization, kanban to manage the flow of projects, and Scrum to provide agile at the team level. Beginning with an introduction to lean and kanban, Al Shalloway explains why they are required for agile at scale. Al then describes the framework of SAFe—specifically how it creates a structure to manifest the behaviors required for agile at scale. In particular, learn how to coordinate your organization’s portfolio, programs, and projects. Al concludes by discussing when it is advisable to use the framework and when a more emergent method is preferable.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Eight Steps to Kanban

Transitioning to agile can be difficult—and often downright wrenching—for teams, so many organizations are turning to kanban practices. Kanban, which involves just-in-time software delivery, offers a more gradual evolution to agile and is adaptable to many company cultures and environments. With kanban, developers pull work from a queue—taking care not to exceed a threshold for simultaneous tasks—while making progress visible to all. Al Shalloway shares eight steps to adopt kanban in your team and organization. He begins with a value stream map of existing processes to establish an initial kanban board, providing transparency into the state of the current workflow. Another step is to establish explicit policies to define workflow changes and engender project visibility. Because kanban can easily be expanded to cover many parts of development, another step is to increase stakeholder involvement in the process. Join this interactive session to practice these key steps with hands-on exercises. By the end, you will have an initial plan for implementing kanban in your organization.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 10:15am
Design & Code
Avoid Over Design and Under Design

The question of how much design to do up-front on a project is an engaging conundrum. Too much design often results in excess complexity and wasted effort. Too little design results in a poor architecture or insufficient system structures which require expensive rework and hurt more in the long run. How can we know the right balance of upfront design work and emerging design approaches? Al Shalloway shows how to use design patterns—coupled with agile’s attitude of “don’t build what you don’t need”—to guide your design efforts. The trick is to identify potential design alternatives, analyze how each may affect the system in the future, and then find the simplest approach for isolating those potential effects. Al describes the essence of emergent design—start with a simple design and let it evolve as the requirements evolve—and demonstrates how to refactor to achieve better designs, which really is quite different from refactoring bad code.